real estate

Who’s Responsible for Repairs in a Condo?

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So you’ve purchased your new condo, or you are thinking about it. You're probably feeling really excited and a little overwhelmed. One of the main reasons you might be purchasing a condo is the lack of maintenance that you have to do. No snow to clear, no lawn to cut. You can basically lock the door and be on your way. But what if something happens inside your new condo? Or what if the window starts to leak? Who fixes that? Is that something that you have to pay for?

Some upkeep is done by the condo owners, and some is done by the condo corporation. To make matters more complicated, no two condos are alike. You will be required to do some research on the building you are interested in.

Condo owners are responsible for paying for the ongoing maintenance and repair of their units. The condominium declaration will define the unit’s boundaries. It may or may not include what is behind the walls, so it is advised to have your legal representative look over the declaration.

The Corporation is responsible for covering the costs of ongoing maintenance of common elements of the condo such as the parking lots and main lobby. Normally, some of your monthly condo fees will be put towards paying for these items.

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Some things to consider:

Timing

The Condominium Act requires that unit owners make sure repairs are done within a reasonable timeframe.

Damage

The Act requires that the corporation fix the condos and common elements immediately after damage, however, this obligation is typically altered by the corporation’s declaration. That is why it is important to read the document.    

Costs

The corporation uses funds from your condo fees to repair any damages. They cannot refuse to fix damages because of a financial shortage. They can, within some rules, raise your fees, or do a special assessment, or take a loan to top of the reserve fund.

Reserve fund

The Act requires the corporation to go through reserve fund studies from time to time to determine whether the corporation has enough funds for any upcoming repairs.

Delayed work

Condo corporations may decide to defer certain recommended repairs or maintenance if it is not urgent or if there are financial constraints. However, there are always risks, such as the failure of equipment or structures, secondary damage, or minor repairs that can develop into major issues.

You want to have a look at all of the condo corporation documents before you enter into a deal to purchase a condo. Not taking the time to research could be costly.

Get in touch to learn more.

3 Things That All Homeowners Should Look For When Selling Their Homes

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Many homeowners will overlook the difficulty of finding the perfect home. Sadly, the same homeowners will also forget how difficult selling a home is. Naive homeowners think that as soon as they put a “for sale” sign in their lawn, they will have dozens of potential buyers knocking down their door. In reality, this isn’t often the case. With this in mind, homeowners should learn a few tricks of the trade before putting their home up for sale. One of these tricks is knowing what to look for when selling a home. Knowing these things will make the house selling process quicker and easier.

#1 - Current Average Price of Nearby Homes

Chances are, there are other homeowners nearby that are also trying to sell their homes. Before putting their home up on the market, it is wise for homeowners to learn what these prices are. To do this, homeowners can do research online or contact the real estate agency that is selling the home. Homeowners that can’t access this information can look at closed sales in the neighborhood. Once a house sale has closed, homeowners can easily find the final asking price. Knowing this information can help a homeowner pick the right price the first time.

#2 - Necessary Repairs That Need to Be Made

Before a homeowner puts their house up for sale, they should look for any repairs that need to be made in or around the house. By doing this, the home will look amazing and all of its features will work to their full potential. If the homeowner is still nervous about hard-to-find damage, they may want to invest in a pre-list inspection. In this process, a professional inspector will analyze every aspect of the home. Afterwards, they inform the owner if there is anything wrong. Getting a pre-listing inspection can also prevent any surprises during the post-listing inspection.

#3 - Strange Smells

Every home has its own unique smell. However, nobody wants to purchase a home that reeks of unpleasant odours. To prevent losing buyers, homeowners should go through their home and clean any particularly smelly areas. This includes drains, wash bins, vents, cooking equipment, carpets and heavily used furniture. By cleaning these aspects of the home, potential buyers will able to admire the house without having to plug their noses.

Although the house selling process may seem like an uphill battle at times, there are ways to make it easier. One of the best things that a homeowner can do is tackle a list of to-dos before putting the house on the market. This includes doing research on other listing prices, making necessary repairs around the house, and getting rid of strange smells in the home. However, these are not all of the issues that need to be dealt with. Homeowners might need to get creative in order to handle their house’s unique issues.

Get in touch to learn more.

The Pros and Cons of a Pre-List Inspection

Are you considering putting your house on the market? Wondering what you should do to increase the value of your home before you list it for sale? A pre-listing inspection presents a great opportunity for both of these things, but weigh out the pros and cons before you commit.

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Pro: You Know Repairs Ahead of Time

Part of the reason a potential buyer will complete an inspection is to decide if there are any repairs that need to be done to the home ahead of purchase. If this is the case, they will likely request the current owner to complete them as a condition of settlement. If you, as the owner, aren’t aware of these issues ahead of time, it can be a costly endeavour to have them fixed. Knowing beforehand the condition of your home makes the requirements more manageable.

Pro: Accurate Pricing

After you have the inspection done it will be much easier for the agent to recommend an accurate price for your home, as they will be able to use the results of the inspection and know what condition the home is in.

Pro: Improve Buyer Confidence

Whenever you can hand a buyer a completed inspection form, and show them that you have put in the effort to make the most of the sale and optimize the property for a new owner, this is good news. This immediately paints you as an honest seller, and helps ease any scepticism the buyer may have about the current condition of the home.

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Con: Added Expense

When you choose to have a home inspection done ahead of listing, you, as the seller have to pay for it (usually). Once you list the property, the inspection costs become the responsibility of the buyer. Given that inspections can cost anywhere from $400 - $800, this may be an added expense you don’t want in an already expensive time.

Con: Disclosure Laws

What if you find something in the inspection that is costly for you to repair and you opt not to repair it? Unfortunately, depending on your location, disclosure laws may require you to disclose all issues to the buyer. If you have money to make the necessary repairs, this will be a non-issue, but if, as above, these are an added expense you are not prepared to deal with, it may in fact hurt your chances of selling or devalue your home by getting the pre listing inspection.

Con: Two Inspections

Don’t assume that you having an inspection done is going to suffice: the buyer will still likely have their own inspection done. For this, you will still be required to go through the buyer’s inspection and discuss the outcomes accordingly.

While the notion of an inspection can be daunting, and it can be hard to know what is the best course of action, working with an experienced real estate agent can help you out a great deal. I would love to offer you my services as an agent and help you navigate all parts of home selling, including inspections. Please get in touch to learn more.